is a paramount chief
A paramount chief is the highest-level traditional chief or political leader in a regional or local polity or country typically administered politically with a chief-based system. This definition is used occasionally in anthropological and archaeological theory to refer to the rulers of multiple...
among the Algonquians
The Algonquian are one of the most populous and widespread North American native language groups, with tribes originally numbering in the hundreds. Today hundreds of thousands of individuals identify with various Algonquian peoples...
or other northeast American tribes. The two words are anglicizations of cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...
terms (c.1622) from different Eastern Algonquian languages
The Eastern Algonquian languages constitute a subgroup of the Algonquian languages. Prior to European contact, Eastern Algonquian consisted of at least seventeen languages collectively occupying the Atlantic coast of North America and adjacent inland areas, from the Canadian Maritime provinces to...
. Some sources contend the sagamore was a lesser chief
A tribal chief is the leader of a tribal society or chiefdom. Tribal societies with social stratification under a single leader emerged in the Neolithic period out of earlier tribal structures with little stratification, and they remained prevalent throughout the Iron Age.In the case of ...
than the sachem.
One source explains:
According to Captain John Smith
Captain John Smith Admiral of New England was an English soldier, explorer, and author. He was knighted for his services to Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania and friend Mózes Székely...
, who explored New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...
in 1614, the Massachusett
The Massachusett are a tribe of Native Americans who lived in areas surrounding Massachusetts Bay in what is now the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in particular present-day Greater Boston; they spoke the Massachusett language...
tribes called their kings "sachems" while the Penobscots (of Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...
) used the term "sagamos" (anglicized as "sagamore"). Conversely, Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley
Thomas Dudley was a colonial magistrate who served several terms as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Dudley was the chief founder of Newtowne, later Cambridge, Massachusetts, and built the town's first home...
Roxbury is a dissolved municipality and current neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It was one of the first towns founded in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, and became a city in 1846 until annexed to Boston on January 5, 1868...
wrote in 1631 that the kings in the bay area
The Massachusetts Bay, also called Mass Bay, is one of the largest bays of the Atlantic Ocean which forms the distinctive shape of the coastline of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Its waters extend 65 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Massachusetts Bay includes the Boston Harbor, Dorchester Bay,...
were called sagamores but were called sachems southward (in Plymouth). The two terms apparently came from the same root. Although "sagamore" has sometimes been defined by colonists and historians as a subordinate lord, modern opinion is that "sachem" and "sagamore" are dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...
ical variations of the same word.
| Eastern Algonquian
|| Proto-Eastern Algonquian
|| Reconstructed original
The Delaware languages, also known as the Lenape languages, are Munsee and Unami, two closely related languages of the Eastern Algonquian subgroup of the Algonquian language family...
|| derived from earlier form sakimaw
Narragansett is an extinct Algonquian language formerly spoken in most of what is today Rhode Island by the Narragansett people. It was closely related to the other Algonquian languages of southern New England like Massachusett and Mohegan-Pequot...
|| anglicized as sachem
| Eastern Abnaki
Eastern Abnaki is an extinct language once spoken by the Penobscot in the coastal area of the state of Maine, United States. The last known speaker died in the 1990s in Penobscot, Maine.-External links:* at Native-languages.org....
|| anglicized as sagamore
Malecite–Passamaquoddy is an endangered Algonquian language spoken by the Maliseet and Passamaquoddy peoples along both sides of the border between Maine in the United States and New Brunswick, Canada. The language consists of two major dialects: Malecite, which is mainly spoken in New...
| Western Abnaki
Western Abnaki is one of the World's most endangered languages. In 1991 it was spoken by 20 individuals along the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City, who lived mostly at Odanak, the site of the former mission village of St. Francis and about 50 individuals living throughout New...
| Central Algonquian
The Central Algonquian languages are commonly grouped together as a subgroup of the larger Algonquian family, itself a member of the Algic family. Though this grouping is often encountered in the literature, it is an areal grouping rather than a genetic one...
| Proto-Central Algonquian
|| Reconstructed original
Algonquin is either a distinct Algonquian language closely related to the Ojibwe language or a particularly divergent Ojibwe dialect. It is spoken, alongside French and to some extent English, by the Algonquin First Nations of Quebec and Ontario...
Ottawa is a dialect of the Ojibwe language, spoken by the Ottawa people in southern Ontario in Canada, and northern Michigan in the United States. Descendants of migrant Ottawa speakers live in Kansas and Oklahoma...
Potawatomi is a Central Algonquian language and is spoken around the Great Lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in Kansas in the United States, and in southern Ontario in Canada, 1300 Potawatomi people, all elderly...
|| anglicised as Ogema
Ogema, derived from the Anishinaabemowin word ogimaa meaning "chief", may refer to:*Ogema, Minnesota, a city in Becker County, Minnesota, United States*Ogema, Wisconsin, a town in Price County, Wisconsin, United States...
| Northern East Cree
East Cree, also known as Eastern James Bay Cree, and East Main Cree, refers to a group of Cree dialects spoken in Quebec, Canada on the east coast of lower Hudson Bay and James Bay, and inland southeastward from James Bay...
| Southern East Cree
Naskapi is an Algonquian language spoken by the Naskapi in Quebec and Labrador, Canada. It is written in Eastern Cree syllabics....
The "great chief" (Southern New England Algonquian
The Algonquian languages also Algonkian) are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a...
: massasoit sachem
) whose aid was such a boon to the Plymouth Colony
Plymouth Colony was an English colonial venture in North America from 1620 to 1691. The first settlement of the Plymouth Colony was at New Plymouth, a location previously surveyed and named by Captain John Smith. The settlement, which served as the capital of the colony, is today the modern town...
is remembered today simply as Massasoit
Massasoit Sachem or Ousamequin ,was the sachem, or leader, of the Pokanoket, and "Massasoit" of the Wampanoag Confederacy. The term Massasoit means Great Sachem.-Early years:...
. Another sachem, Mahomet Weyonomon
Mahomet Weyonomon was a Native American tribal chieftain of the Mohegan tribe from Connecticut, who travelled to England in 1735 to petition King George II for better treatment of his people....
of the Mohegan
The Mohegan tribe is an Algonquian-speaking tribe that lives in the eastern upper Thames River valley of Connecticut. Mohegan translates to "People of the Wolf". At the time of European contact, the Mohegan and Pequot were one people, historically living in the lower Connecticut region...
tribe, travelled to London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
in 1735, to petition king George II
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death.George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain. He was born and brought up in Northern Germany...
for fairer treatment of his people. He complained that their lands were becoming overrun by English
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...
settlers. Other sachem
Uncas was a sachem of the Mohegan who through his alliance with the English colonists in New England against other Indian tribes made the Mohegan the leading regional Indian tribe in lower Connecticut.-Early life and family:...
Wonalancet — also spelled Wannalancet and Wannalancit and probably Wanaloset and Wanalosett — was a sachem or sagamore of the Penacook Indians. He was the son of Passaconaway.-Biography:...
Madockawando was a sachem of the Penobscot Indians, an adopted son of Assaminasqua whom he succeeded. The Penobscot lands, lying east of Penobscot River, were a part of Acadia, which was given back to France in 1667 by the Treaty of Breda, though the English claimed that the country between the...
, and Samoset
Samoset was the first Native American to make contact with the Pilgrims. On March 16, 1621, the settlers were more than surprised when Samoset strolled straight through the middle of the encampment at Plymouth Colony and greeted them in English, which he had begun to learn from an earlier group of...
In popular culture
- James Fenimore Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. He is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring frontiersman Natty Bumppo...
featured a character called "The Sagamore" in his novel, The Last of the Mohicans
The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757 is a historical novel by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in February 1826. It is the second book of the Leatherstocking Tales pentalogy and the best known...
- Algonquin Regional High School
Algonquin Regional High School is a public high school located in Northborough, Massachusetts. The school serves the students of the Northborough-Southborough Regional School District comprising both Northborough and neighboring Southborough. Algonquin Regional's Superintendent is Charles E....
in Northborough, MA named their art and poetry magazine "Sachem" after this algonquin word.
- Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...
named his home near Oyster Bay, New York
The Town of Oyster Bay is easternmost of the three towns in Nassau County, New York, in the United States. Part of the New York metropolitan area, it is the only town in Nassau County that extends from the North Shore to the South Shore of Long Island. As of the 2010 census, the town population was...
on Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...
, Sagamore Hill
Sagamore Hill was the home of the 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt from 1885 until his death in 1919. It is located at the end of Cove Neck Road in the Incorporated Village of Cove Neck, New York, on Long Island, 25 miles east of Manhattan. Sagamore Hill is located within...
- "Sachem" was a title adopted by leaders of the Tammany societies, notably in Tammany Hall
Tammany Hall, also known as the Society of St. Tammany, the Sons of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, was a New York political organization founded in 1786 and incorporated on May 12, 1789 as the Tammany Society...
in New York City. The eponymous Tammany was a sachem of the Lenape
The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...
- In the 1940s, the legislature of Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...
created the honorary title of "Sagamore of the Wabash
The Sagamore of the Wabash is an honorary award created by the state of Indiana during the term of Governor Ralph F. Gates . A tri-state meeting was to be held in Louisville with officials from Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Aides to Gates learned that the governor of Kentucky was preparing...
", analogous to Kentucky Colonel
Kentucky colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Commissions for Kentucky colonels are given by the Governor and the Secretary of State to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state or the nation...
. In 1996, the government designated "Sachem of the Wabash" as a higher honor.
- One of the oldest weekly newspapers in Canada is called The Grand River Sachem. It has been publishing since 1856 and is located in Caledonia, ON.